Queenstown sharpshooter hits Commonwealth Games

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Queenstown rifle shooter Jenna MacKenzie has been selected to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.

The Southland-raised 21-year-old will become the first New Zealand to shoot in all three small bore rifle events at an elite competition.

MacKenzie will compete in the women’s 10m air rifle, women’s prone rifle and women’s 3P.

3P (three positions), which comprises prone, kneeling and standing, is her preferred discipline, she says.

MacKenzie has been a member of the Mossburn Smallbore Rifle Club since she took up indoor shooting, initially, at the age of 15.

Her introduction to outdoor shooting came when she was selected for Target Shooting NZ’s junior development squad at the end of her first year of indoor shooting.

The country’s top woman smallbore shooter for several years, she’s competed internationally since 2009, at first as a junior, and holds many national titles and records.

MacKenzie, who shifted to Queenstown in 2011, earned a quota spot for the 2012 London Olympics but missed out by just four points after spending two-and-a-months in Europe trying to qualify.

This week she’ll shift to Timaru to train full-time with her coach Jock Allen, who lives there, in preparation both for the Commonwealth Games and the world championships in Spain in September.

Last November she told Mountain Scene that the Glasgow Games will be special for her: “I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland – it’s kind of home country, being a MacKenzie girl.”